Which websites should support ActivityPub? Many German public agencies are now on Mastodon (e.g., https://social.bund.de/ and https://bawü.social/), but their main websites still need to support ActivityPub. I would like to follow the news on the main website, and not only the institutional accounts in Mastodon. This adoption may depend on the existence of add-ons in the respective content management systems. However, some people are not convinced about having support for ActivityPub on websites. For example, I asked Plone developers (ActivityPub in Plone - Plone Support - Plone Community) and they seemed not convinced. What do you think?
I made suggestions to many projects, both websites and apps, to consider having ActivityPub support. I did it as a form of advocacy, not directly expecting them to implement, but just raise awareness on the technology and weigh its benefits. Some of these projects eventually added AP support, while others remain(ed) hesitant or closed the issue as Not Doing. I can understand that. When investigating it quickly becomes apparent that things aren’t that straightforward, and the ecosystem isn’t yet there wrt onboarding to make the choice a ‘no-brainer’ as it were.
I don’t really think ActivityPub makes sense for most websites. While you certainly could have a blog that was an “activitypub actor” and let you like / reply to posts from activitypub, I think it’s more important to focus on building actually enjoyable user experiences rather then just treating activitypub support as some sort of box checking activity that websites need to implement. That sort of “mandatory” activitypub approach does a disservice to both the maintainers of those websites and the community of users who actually enjoy the fediverse. Frankly, most people don’t really care about the “news” that public agencies tend to post on their main websites, so having a more curated “informal” experience like agencies are used to providing on Twitter is going to do a much better job of serving the goals for that org.
Plus, there are a lot of technical / UX benefits to having a separate “formal” news website and an “informal” twitter-like public engagement platform that news updates can get cross-posted to, which seems to be the approach most agencies are taking. Because they’re all part of an open ecosystem with public APs, there’s no downside to this approach (you can still create automated integrations), and lots of upside (no custom coding needed for every ancient CMS)
I agree with you that ActivityPub may not fit all interactions and all communication workflows. In some contexts, it may be preferable that communication be centralized. For example, maybe this Discourse forum would not be better if communication was based on ActivityPub. For this forum, I prefer that comments are centralized in a single instance and do not disappear if someone’s instance is shut off. On the other hand, I would like that the identity management of those who participate in this forum be decentralized. I appreciate your comments because they give more insight on the use cases where ActivityPub would be useful. However, it is still unclear to me what those use cases are.
I need to review my example above because there exists a Discourse ActivityPub Plugin. I just noticed its existence today.